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16 July 2014

GE to lead $500m five-year State-funded New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium

At the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York State will partner with over 100 private companies, led by General Electric (GE) and including GlobalFoundries, Lockheed Martin and IBM, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC). The public-private partnership will invest more than $500m over five years, focused on the development of next-generation wide-bandgap semiconductor materials and processes at the State-owned R&D facility in Albany, NY.

“This partnership will create thousands of new jobs in Upstate New York [including at least 500 in the Capital region], tapping into our highly trained workforce and existing centers of high-tech research and development,” says Cuomo.

Managed through the newly merged State University of New York (SUNY) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)/SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), wide-bandgap semiconductors enable power devices to get smaller, faster and more efficient as silicon reaches its limits. “Power electronics is one of the fastest-growing global markets,” comments SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT’s CEO & officer in charge Dr Alain Kaloyeros

The Albany site will act as a global ‘open-innovation’ user-shared facility, enabling the expansion and growth of corporate partners as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

NY-PEMC places New York at the forefront of the next revolution in power, believes GE’s chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt. “By partnering, we are bringing breakthrough reliable technology to market faster and at lower cost so our customers and global industries see major productivity gains and operate at peak efficiency.”

GE will be a lead partner in the fab, housed at the CNSE Nano Tech complex, which aims to develop and produce low-cost 6” silicon carbide (SiC) wafers. The advantages of SiC-based power electronic devices over silicon include the capacity to handle much higher frequencies and temperatures, reducing the size and cost for companion filtering and cooling systems. Also, the devices can be half the size of similar silicon devices, providing increased power density and reliability. Currently, SiC technology can be cost prohibitive to smaller- to medium-size companies. All NY-PEMC partner companies will have access to 6” SiC tools and a baseline process flow, contributed by GE, where they can make their own enhancements in preparation for high-volume, cost-effective manufacturing.

The partnership is enabled by the START-UP NY tax-free initiative, in addition to $135m in New York State funds provided to CNSE for the establishment of the NY-PEMC facilities, which will attract $365m in private funds and know-how (including more than $100m from GE) to support personnel, equipment and process flow, tool installation, facilities and materials, making a total 5-year investment of $500m. Collaboration with CNSE should enable the expansion and growth of both major corporate partners and small- and medium-sized enterprises within a power electronics device and systems integration eco-system.

See related items:

US DOE selects NCSU to lead $140m Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute

Tags: Power electronics SiC CNSE

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